MISE EN PLACE FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH
- Toast the peanuts in a 325F oven on a small tray for about 16 to 18 minutes, until a light golden brown thought the entire peanut.
- Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- Measure the flour in a medium bowl with the salt, baking soda and baking powder, and whisk together.
Measuring the flour.
- Place the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of amixerfitted with the paddle attachment.
- Measure the sugar into a separate bowl.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl and add the vanilla.
- Measure the oats into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a clean counter.
ASSEMBLE THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH
- On medium-low speed and cream the butter and peanut butter into a pommade, or until it has the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted.
Butter and peanut butter pommade.
- Add the sugar and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again.
- Add the combined dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any remaining dry ingredients.
- Add the oats and mix just until combined.
- Add the chopped peanuts mix on very low speed just until combined.
- Mound the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Peanut butter cookie dough.
- Using the sides of the plastic wrap or a pastry scraper , push the cookie dough into a 5-by-7-inch block.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month)
Cookie dough wrapped in plastic.
ROLL AND CUT THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH
- Rolling and cutting the cookie dough will create very uniform clean cookies that will make beautiful sandwich cookies. If you prefer not to roll and cut the cookies, form the dough into small round balls. When baked the cookies will be mounded and uneven. Take precautions by keeping your hands cold and moist because the dough will mercilessly stick to your fingers. Resist the urge to add flour.
- Unwrap the dough, and cut into quarters.
- Rewrap three of pieces and put them back in the refrigerator.
- Place one piece of cookie dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Gather your tools before rolling the cookie dough.
- Roll it out to a 1/4-inch-thick (this is a thick cookie).
- Note on the consistency of the dough: Even when the dough is ice cold, it will still be a soft dough and will stick to the rolling pin if you don't use plastic wrap. Resist the urge to add more flour because it will reduce the crispiness of the baked cookie.
- Working quickly, roll the dough in an oblong or rectangle shape and cut round cookies with your round cutter.
Rolling and cutting the peanut butter cookie dough.
- Then with an offset spatula , place them onto a tray lined with parchment. Arrange as many rounds as possible, and set in the freezer.
- Re-roll the scraps and repeat.
Cutting and rolling the cookie dough.
- When the dough becomes too soft to work with, wrap the piece in plastic and refrigerate.
- Repeat until the 4 quarters, and the trimmings are rolled and cut and are in the freezer.
- (For longer storage, set the rounds in a covered container or a plastic bag for up to 1 month.)
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
BAKE THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES at 325F for 14-16 minutes
- Arrange the frozen cookies on the sheet pans, leaving about 2 inches between them.
- Bake the frozen cookies at 325F for 14-16 minutes, until golden brown, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through baking.
- Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
Baked Peanut Butter Cookies.
MIS-EN-PLACE THE BUTTERCREAM
- Separate the eggs and place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (See the How-To section on How to Separate Eggs )
- Bring the egg whites to room temperature if not already by giving them a few seconds on very low setting in microwave or putting them in a warm place in kitchen.
- Place the 150 grams/1 cup sugar in a small saucepan with the water, and stir to moisten the sugar. Set aside.
Sugar dissolving in water for the syrup.
- Put the 33 grams of white sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
ASSEMBLING THE BUTTERCREAM
- Bring the sugar and water to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer until the syrup reaches 230F/100C. Let the syrup continue to cook gently without stirring.
Cooking sugar at 230ºF. Notice it hasn’t caramelized yet.
Turn the mixer to medium speed and whip the room-temp egg whites until foamy. (See the How-To section on How to Whip Egg Whites )
Foamy egg whites.
- Continue to beat until soft peaks form.
- Gradually pour in the remaining 33 grams/2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar into the whites, and whip until the whites are firm.
- Return to the sugar and check the temperature. Cook until the syrup reaches 248F/120C.
- If the whites are ready before the syrup reaches correct temperature, turn the mixer to the lowest setting just to keep them moving.
- When the syrup reaches 248F/120C, remove the pan from the heat.
- Turn the mixer off and add a small amount of syrup.
- Restart the mixer to incorporate the hot sugar into the meringue.
- Stop the mixer again and add a little more syrup and restart the mixer to incorporate the hot sugar.
- Repeat until all the hot sugar is incorporated into the meringue.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and whisk for 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the bowl is at room temperature and the whites hold stiff peaks.
Cooled meringue that’s ready for the room temperature.
- Note on the Temperature of the Meringue: At this point, the meringue needs to be less than 90F before adding the butter. Keep in mind that butter melts at approximately 100F and if the meringue is hot enough to melt the butter, the buttercream will become soup. If this happens, set the bowl in an ice bath for a few minutes at a time, and whip again until the butter is cold enough to become the proper consistency.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, a few pieces at a time.
Very soft butter ready to be added to the meringue.
- If at any point the mixture looks broken, increase the speed and beat to re-emulsify it, then reduce the speed and continue adding the butter.
- The buttercream can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month; defrost frozen buttercream in the refrigerator overnight before using. Thirty minutes before using the buttercream, place it in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and allow to soften. Then mix on low speed to return the buttercream to the proper consistency for piping or spreading.
Finished easy and basic buttercream.
ASSEMBLING THE PEANUT BUTTER CREAM COOKIES
- Combine 1 cup of the buttercream (not the whole buttercream recipe), peanut butter, and salt in the bowl of the mixer.
- Fitted with the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes on medium-low speed, until combined and smooth.
Finished Peanut Butter Cream.
Adding the peanut butter cream to the pastry bag.
The peanut butter cream inside the bag.
- OR ready an offset spatula.
- Turn half of the cookies over.
Turning half the cookies over before filling.
- Beginning within 1/4 inch of the edge, pipe the peanut butter cream along the outside edge.
Filling the cookie.
- Dot the center with cream.
Pipe the peanut butter cream on half the cookies.
- OR spread the cream evenly on half the cookie.
- Top each with a second cookie and press gently to sandwich the cookies.
Making the sandwich!
STORING THE PEANUT BUTTER CREAM COOKIES
- The cookies are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered container, at room temperature if unfilled, refrigerated if filled, for up to 3 days.